Monday, March 24
as i could tell from talking to her beforehand, rekha is an awesome dj, and in some ways my style of dj - lots of unexpected style-shifts and off-beat-matching, creative teases, cutting out in the chorus to make us sing (does anyone remember that song - with the 'motivational' lyrics?). and some complete non sequiturs: "smells like teen spirit" (which is a great dance song) and then that eminem song, much much later - it was almost 3 when i left and the party was still going (12?) strong.
at one point i wandered outside to look at the moon or something, and came across, on a metal stake behind olde club, one of the mitts knit me by my non-updating (but ex-dating?) hannah. i didn't even know it was missing. how did it get there? stephanie asked didn't that make me believe in destiny. (well, luck at least.) and she asked, with drunken clarity: do you want to date rabi? ah, well that is the question, isn't it. also, she was very excited about cat power, although i had to explain to her what it was. she predicted it would be "a thing."
it was indeed something. let's see: we got there 1.5 hours after it was supposed to start, and we still waited over a half hour before the first act, gamelon, started. so lots of time for anticipation buildup, looking at their dozens and dozens (at least a gross) of musical toys/instruments and catching glimpses of their friends in goofy costumes. it wasn't quite genius, but i liked the idea. somewhere between quasi (proggish, monotonously same rigged-up rhodes) and need new body (genre-jumps, freakouts, theatricality, but strictly indie), with the singer/keyboard guy's hairy head in a slightly more conventional cock-pop place than the others. i could barely hear most of what the german-counting girl was doing with her slide whistle, speak'n'spell, etc. but their best asset by far was one of the most incredible drummers i've been lucky enough to watch at such close range. he was frenetic and scatterbrained (like vanderslice's guy only manyx more so); he played with just his hands a lot of the time; otherwise chopsticks, hotrods, etc. he used a glockenspiel in an elvin triplety thing. he was hep, cat.
next up: entrance (stress disappointingly on the first syllable), which is just one guy: jeff buckley (voice) meets bluesy ?dylan (ranginess - also he did a dylan cover that i didn't know) meets hyped-up bottleneck playing and incoherence and straight from the sixties energy. he had bells at the bottom of his bellbottoms. i was digging it at first, but it kind of got old and detached. jonah asked: is this ironic? no way.
as for cat power herself (i think "she's" the only "band" who we have wholly accepted as a one person band name - we don't speak of the microphones as singular, for instance, or even smog. er, (smog). that guy.) she got on something like 11:20, with drums, guitarist, violin/bass/harmony gal. nice pretty dreamy sound, though the vox had way unnecessary amounts of reverb for the space, and were also not high enough, ergo i couldn't understand a single lyric and only made out about a third of the repartee, between chan and taunting guitar guy, barely acknowledging us, which was some of the weirdest stage banter ever. the band was there for a good twelve songs, including some sweet ones from the new record ("good woman," "fool") but nothing rocking. they totally destroyed "i don't blame you" - played it in major, with a stupid casio and full band instead of spare piano. i'm all for changing up your arrangements live, but this was sacrilege. it didn't sound good, and it made the song into a joke. that's when i started to get kind of upset.
then the band took off and ms. power sat at a piano (which meant i couldn't see her at all, from my spot on the floor right in the front - though i could have if the lid had been open) for a medley of about ten songs, only one of which (haunting "names") i picked out. pretty but so. dull. it got a lot better when i lay down to listen, looking up at the 1u's vault, which is not as nicely painted as the walls. finally she got up and we could clap. then she picked up her geetar and played another eight or so quiet sad ones. i shouted out for "he war" and she said "just you wait." so i waited some more. she said something to the sound guy and he said "you know, it's a quarter to one." she said, and this was maybe the best part of the whole concert: "i don't know what that means." then did one more (sad, same clip-clop strumming rhythm as every other freaking song she played all night) and she walked off in a kind of daze. um. then al green started singing and suddenly i wanted to dance.
i like cat power, and i really love the new record. but at least as i experienced it, the show was unengaging, boring, too late, and too long. if i had been lying in the grass in the afternoon, like on the cover of the album, and listening to her play sitting on that tree stump over there, it would have been a different story. if she had mixed in just one or two rockers in there, it would have set off the pretty ones so so much better. now i'm just exhausted.
i want to be a good woman
(and i want for you to be a good man)